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These celeb dads are showing total support for their breastfeeding partners. Here’s how.

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Breastfeeding can be awesome — but it can also be difficult, physically exhausting, and isolating.

Parents may choose to breastfeed for a variety of reasons and have a range of experiences with it, but one thing is universal: It helps to have help.

People often tout the natural beauty of breastfeeding, and that can certainly be true. But it’s equally true that nursing can be physically demanding, time-consuming, and — thanks to society’s squeamishness — socially isolating. Even those who love breastfeeding need moral and logistical support, especially from their partners.

Here are some celebrity dads who show us what supportive breastfeeding partners look like:

Keeping breastfeeding partners well-fed and hydrated, like The Rock did, is a good place to start.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson melted hearts with a photo on Instagram of him lovingly feeding his girlfriend while she fed their baby.

“Mama @laurenhashianofficial has her hands full nursing/feeding Baby Tia,” he wrote, “so I’m feedin’ mama her dinner. My pleasure. So much respect to her and all mamas out there holding it down and running things.”

Not only does breastfeeding require hands, it also burns 300-500 calories a day, which can make for ravenous hunger. Nursing requires extra water too, so partners can help by bringing a breastfeeding person food and liquids.

Expressing appreciation for breastfeeding like Justin Baldoni did is another way to show support.

“Jane the Virgin” actor Justin Baldoni didn’t hold back in sharing his awe in watching his wife breastfeed their baby, Maxwell.

“I love watching Emily feed our son,” he wrote on Instagram:

“They share such a deep bond and I can see how much joy it brings her when everything stops and it just the two of them connecting … It still blows my mind at how incredible the female body is and that the only thing my son has eaten since he was born has been produced by my wife.”

He also shared a photo he took of her breastfeeding, with words of praise for her as a mother and wife. Beautiful.

Andy Grammer modeled how to support breastfeeding in public without shame.

The singer/songwriter shared a photo of his wife Aijia getting sassy with public breastfeeding shamers on Twitter and sent a shoutout “to all the moms feeding their babies without a care and in style.”

Andy Grammer

@andygrammer

God help anyone that tries to shame @aijiaofficial breastfeeding in public 👊 Visiting me on tour and it’s good to have her sass around. Shout out to all the moms feeding their babies without a care and in style 💅

And check out this adorable video of Grammer beatboxing in time to his daughter Louisiana’s hiccups. (Another way to help is burping the baby after feeding time, BTW.)

Partners can also step up in unexpected ways when breastfeeding goes wrong, like Dax Shepard did.

Actress Kristen Bell shared a story on her online show “Momsplaining” about one of the times she had mastitis and wasn’t able to get to the doctor. Mastitis is a painful and potentially dangerous breast infection. Their baby had recently quit breastfeeding, and she needed to express her milk to relieve the pain and pressure.

Bell said she told her husband, “We can talk about it, we can be weird about it, or you can just go ahead and nurse.” So Shepard extracted the milk — yep, like that — and spit it into a cup.

“I’ve never been more in love,” said Bell.

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Nevada pimp wins GOP primary, rejoices with Hollywood madam

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Pimp Dennis Hof, owner of half a dozen legal brothels in Nevada and star of the HBO adult reality series “Cathouse,” won a Republican primary for the state Legislature on Tuesday, ousting a three-term lawmaker.

Hof defeated hospital executive James Oscarson. He’ll face Democrat Lesia Romanov in November, and will be the favored candidate in the Republican-leaning Assembly district.

Hof celebrated his win at a party in Pahrump, Nevada, with “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss at his side.

“It’s all because Donald Trump was the Christopher Columbus for me,” Hof told The Associated Press in a phone call. “He found the way and I jumped on it.”

Hof, who wrote a book titled “The Art of the Pimp,” has dubbed himself “The Trump of Pahrump,” and held a rally with longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone. Hof was in the limelight in 2015, when former NBA player Lamar Odom was found unconscious at Hof’s Love Ranch brothel in Crystal, Nevada, after a four-day, $75,000 stay.

If Hof wins in November, he wouldn’t be the only brothel owner in elected office — Lance Gilman, the owner of the famous Mustang Ranch in northern Nevada, is a Storey County Commissioner.

Voters in November will decide on closing down brothels in at least one of the seven Nevada counties where they legally operate. The question will be on the ballot in Lyon County, where Hof owns four brothels. Activists are also gathering signatures to try to get a measure on the ballot in Nye County, where Hof owns two more brothels in the desert outside the city of Pahrump.

He painted the anti-brothel efforts as political retribution that’s tied to his opponent, but Oscarson and the referendum backers deny any connection.

Most brothels operate in rural areas of Nevada. They’re banned in the counties that contain Las Vegas and Reno.

Hof said Tuesday he’s downsizing his business by selling off some brothels to focus more on politics.

Oscarson and Hof previously faced off in 2016 when Hof ran for the seat as a Libertarian. Oscarson won with 60 percent of the vote.

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Murder in the Classroom: A Practical Guide for Prevention – An Overview

I RARELY DO BOOK REVIEWS, BUT THIS GUY IS A GREAT WRITER, AND THE TIMES ARE RIGHT FOR HIS BOOK.

By Robert Sollars –

For me a momentous occasion…the publication of my 3rd book. Even more momentous is if it will help to save the lives of children everywhere with the ideas that I put forward. You should know that many of the ideas that are professed in it I have had for decades but never recognized by society at large, being characterized as unworkable, stupid, idiotic, and just down right living on Pluto! But now…many professionals in the security field are saying the exact same thing as I did back then, in a poorly written book if you really want to read it, and this new one…professionally edited.

I think it is sensible to inform you of what is inside this book and why you should purchase it;

#1 it takes the problem of shootings in schools and our society giving practical everyday advice for how to prevent them.

#2 There is no one person, set of people, or items to blame for this issue, although…

#3 It gives the necessary items we need to stop these shootings and none of them costing hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.

#4It has some revolutionary ideas and goes against the grain on more than a few subjects, but then I’ve always thought outside and gone against conventional wisdom…usually in the dark corner of the parking lot where there are no lights and been touted as a revolutionary.

The following chapters are in the book, although this is not the complete list;

The basic tenets of preventing school violence…which utilizes some of the items and quotes I’ve used for decades

The myths of school violence, you may be surprised at them

Where it occurs, again you may be shocked at where it happens

Attitudes that foster violence, whose attitudes…

Average profile of a perpetrator, maybe

Parental responsibility, guaranteed to illicit a few guffaws

School accountability, another cluster of guffaws

Warning signs, probably the most important aspect of the book & the longest chapter

Basic Security planning, not so tough and not expensive either

Don’t let your children become prey, another area I’ll hear gasps of shock and guffaws

Training, nothing to be said here…except who will be trained and in what?

Zero tolerance policies, think they are great? Hate to burst your bubble but…

Is this all the chapters? Nope, but if you want the rest then you will have to buy it. I will give three things that are in it, however to hopefully entice you to at least read it;

#1 Parents are as much to blame, in most cases, as the shooters themselves

#2 Zero tolerance policies don’t work and have never worked with an explanation and examples to show why

#3 Schools have nearly the same culpability as parents when it comes to stopping these incidents

For the sake of your children, grandchildren, or those of friends and family members you need to have this book. The practical advice you will receive will come from, as a reviewer of my 2014 book on workplace violence, put it, “It’s like your own crusty old uncle speaking to you.” It is blunt, direct, and to the point with no sugar coating to not offend someone. As the quote I like states

“If you are not annoying someone with what you write, then why write?” Kingsley Anis

“I know what I bring to the table, therefore I am not afraid to eat alone.”

If any of you reading this post and/or book wish to get the words and solutions out there, then please feel free to contact your local media outlets and inform them. I would be happy to appear in print, on the radio, or a remote television interview to help save lives …be they ours, grandchildren, or just friends of them. I would also be more than happy to provide workshops & seminars for any school or district who would wish one.

Thank you for purchasing this book that can save children’s lives and then reviewing it for me, good or bad, on Amazon or any other book review site that takes freelance reviews. If you wish an excerpt and see the cover before purchasing look here

http://www.dldbooks.com/robertsollars/

Robert D. Sollars assists organizations to safeguard the lives of their employees & students to lessen their risk of violence as well as other security related issues with time tested and proven ideas.

You can follow him on his website www.robertdsollars.com, twitter@robertsollars2, by e-mail at robertsollars2@gmail.com, or calling 480-251-5197.

He is now the author of 3 books on preventing violence in both schools and businesses, the last reviewed here: Murder in the Classroom: A Practical Guide for Prevention

All three of them available on Amazon.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

 

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The end of net neutrality is here

by Seth Fiegerman   –

The way the internet is regulated in the US is about to change.

The controversial repeal of Obama-era net neutrality protections is officially set to take effect on Monday, despite ongoing efforts from members of Congress, state officials, tech companies and advocacy groups to save the rules.

The Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines in December to repeal the rules, which were intended to prevent internet providers from blocking, speeding up, or slowing down access to specific online services.

The order required the approval of the Office of Management and Budget, which the FCC announced receiving last month. In a statement at the time, FCC chairman Ajit Pai framed the upcoming repeal as removing burdensome regulations.

“Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for nearly 20 years will be restored,” Pai said in a statement last month.

An FCC spokesperson confirmed to CNN this week that the timetable is proceeding as previously announced.

“June 11 is significant because it will be the first time in the over 15 year battle over net neutrality that the FCC will have essentially no role in preserving an open Internet and overseeing the broadband market,” Gigi Sohn, a counselor to former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and a staunch supporter of net neutrality, told CNNMoney.

The concern among net neutrality advocates is that the repeal could give internet providers too much control over how online content is delivered. It may also make it harder for the next generation of online services to compete if they have to pay up to be placed in a so-called internet fast lane.

“Those ‘fast lanes’ will put those who won’t or cannot pay in the slow lane, making the internet look a lot like cable TV,” Sohn says.

But even those who oppose the repeal say very little is likely to change right away given pending litigation and possible legislation to settle the issue.

“Nothing will change the next day,” says Kevin Werbach, an associate professor of legal studies at Wharton and former FCC adviser. “Companies are not going to take any major action to change their policies until it’s resolved.”

Related: Trump administration sends mixed messages on big media

Last month, the Senate passed a measure to preserve the net neutrality rules. On Thursday, with the official repeal date looming, dozens of senators sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan urging him to schedule a vote on the issue.

collection of advocacy groups has called for “mass online actions” on June 11 to once again call attention to the issue and pressure Congress to act.

“It’s an uphill fight,” says Chris Lewis, VP of Public Knowledge, a tech advocacy group that has urged the House to take action. The Republican-led House, and President Trump, are both thought to be unlikely to back the Senate’s measure.

More than 20 states have filed a lawsuit to stop the net neutrality repeal. Several states, including New JerseyWashingtonOregon and California, have gone so far as to push legislation to enforce the principles of net neutrality within their borders.

This local legislation could lead to a legal showdown, however.

A spokeswoman for the FCC previously directed CNNMoney to a section of the final order for net neutrality, in which the FCC asserts authority to prevent states from pursuing laws inconsistent with the net neutrality repeal.

“It’s patently illegal for the states to make their own internet policy,” Roslyn Layton, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who served on President Trump’s transition team for the FCC, told CNNMoney last month.

The general uncertainty around the future of net neutrality is likely to extend through much of this year, according to those pushing for legislation and litigation, if not longer.

“We’ll see what happens after the [midterm] election,” Lewis says.

 

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Anthony Bourdain was fearless with culture and cuisine. His legacy will live on.

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On Friday, June 8, world-renowned chef and host of “Parts Unknown” Anthony Bourdain was found dead in a hotel room in France.

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Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images.

The 61-year-old celebrity reportedly died from an apparent suicide.

Bourdain, who seemingly had a wonderful, fulfilling life, has been uncommonly open about mental illness, his struggles with addiction, and the challenges of dealing with depression while being a leader in the food industry. For many, Bourdain was a glimpse at what a dream job and life could entail. Traveling, eating, and making people around the world feel like their culture is meaningful, without demeaning or belittling their way of life.

Anthony Bourdain had my dream job. You can be living everyone else’s dream and be in total anguish. Check in with your people, even those who are outwardly doing well or seemingly in their prime. You. Never. Know.

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Anthony Bourdain’s rise in the chef community was profound and a true example of the American dream. A 1978 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Bourdain found his love of cooking on a trip to France.

Red T Raccoon@RedTRaccoon

Let’s all take some time tonight to plan, prepare and share a meal today for Anthony Bourdain.

I don’t know a better way to honor his memory than having a good meal and good conversation with the ones you love.

After rising the ranks in New York City kitchens, Bourdain spent many years as executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles. His 2000 book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” was his first big step making a name for himself in the industry. From there, a series of books and travel-food hybrid shows followed, including “A Cook’s Tour” and perhaps his most well-known work, “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.”

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Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival.

Bourdain grew in popularity not only because of an unparalleled work ethic and a particular, distinctive food taste but also for his ability to explore other nations far different from our own in an ethical and understanding way.Using food as a bridge, Bourdain looked for the ways humans could connect and amplified that message.

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Wilkine Brutus@wilkinebrutus

Anthony Bourdain on humanity:
“Meals make the society, hold the fabric together in lots of ways that were charming and interesting and intoxicating to me. The perfect meal, or the best meals, occur in a context that frequently has very little to do with the food itself.” RIP

Bourdain’s death is a shock to the world and I’m not afraid to admit it hit me especially hard. In a particularly challenging 12 months of life, Bourdain’s show, his charisma, and his writing brought a level of joy and inspiration that’s helped me get through some tough days.

Bourdain brought global culture and cuisine to the living rooms of people around the world.

Bourdain’s love of exploring the world showed in every aspect of his life and work. Bourdain’s ability to bring countries like Italy, Vietnam, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and so many others to the dinner table with admiration and praise was a characteristic he mastered. It made our world better, more understanding, and less divided, and his impact will have lasting effects in an ever-changing society.

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Congress sends massive veterans bill to Trump, opening door to more private health care

President Trump gives a thumbs-up Wednesday at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
The Senate on Wednesday gave overwhelming approval to a massive bill that expands access for veterans to private doctors at taxpayer expense, sending President Trump a victory that helps cement one of his biggest campaign promises.

The VA Mission Act, which cleared the Senate by a vote of 92 to 5 and the House by a wide margin last week, was expected to reach the president’s desk as soon as Memorial Day.

The $55 billion package makes a five-year commitment to addressing shortcomings in the country’s largest health system, which still struggles with delays after a 2014 scandal in which VA employees were found to have fudged patient wait lists.

About one-third of veterans in the system now see outside doctors through a program called “Choice,” which Congress hastily approved as a temporary remedy in response to the scandal. But the program — designed to serve the overflow at VA facilities both of aging Vietnam-era veterans and younger service members returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — is fragmented and unwieldy. Doctors have complained of slow or nonexistent payments, and veterans say there’s insurmountable red tape.

“The Choice program has been a wreck, okay?” Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.), the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s top Democrat, said this week.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that as a result of the VA Mission Act, an additional 640,000 veterans each year would go outside the system. The bill would require VA for the first time to negotiate a contract for veterans to seek care at private walk-in clinics, a shift now being tested in Arizona as part of a pilot program with the drugstore chain CVS.

Tester and Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) negotiated the bill with the White House and veterans groups over the past year, during which Trump fired his VA secretary, nominated a White House physician as a replacement whose nomination fell apart after claims of misconduct surfaced.

Isakson acknowledged this week that the turmoil had slowed progress on the legislation. After Wednesday’s Senate vote, he said in a statement that veterans “will benefit from more choice and fewer barriers to care.”

Allowing more private care was a key campaign promise made by the president, for whom veterans are an important constituency.

Lawmakers reached a bipartisan compromise that balances a push by the White House, Republicans and conservative veterans groups for unfettered access to private care with the concerns of Democrats and traditional veterans service groups who fear that VA, under Republican rule in Washington, is heading toward a privatized system.

The largest federal employee union, which represents about 200,000 VA civil servants, has been outspoken in its opposition to the bill and this week sent a letter to every Senate office co-signed by 16 labor groups urging a “no” vote.

The American Federation of Government Employees said in a statement that the legislation “kicks the door wide open to VA privatization, no matter what its supporters claim,” by curtailing investment in the 1,200 VA hospitals and clinics and instead sending money and veterans to private doctors who offer “costly and unaccountable” private care.

Keith Harman, national commander of the 1.7 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars, acknowledged in a statement that the bill “is the result of years of negotiating what role the private sector should play” in providing care to veterans. But he said it “strikes the right balance in order to make sure veterans have the best care possible.”

Robert Wilkie, Trump’s new nominee for VA secretary, will be charged with writing the bill’s fine print, the rules that set parameters for when a veteran can see a private doctor. They will be closely scrutinized by veterans groups.

Funding for the bill, including $5.2 billion to continue the current Choice program for a year, must still be approved by Congress.

The VA Mission Act would replace Choice by consolidating VA’s multiple private-care programs and contracting with an outside company to streamline billing.

It would require the agency to allow a veteran to see a private doctor if they agree with their VA physician that it’s in their best interest. A number of factors would be taken into account, including if the veteran lives far from a VA hospital, if the wait for an appointment is too long and if the care at the closest VA hospital is “deficient” compared with other private and VA medical offices. The veteran could appeal if the request was rejected.

The standards are far broader than the current rules, which limit private care to those who live more than 40 miles from a VA facility or who must wait more than 30 days for an appointment.

The legislation also gives veterans groups a victory by expanding VA’s popular caregiver program, extending stipends and other benefits to veterans of all eras, not just families of injured post-9/11 veterans.

VA also would be required to do a review of all of its underused hospitals, leading to possible closures, a victory for conservatives. An existing telehealth program would expand and VA would get new tools to recruit medical professionals to address thousands of vacancies.

 

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25 tips on how to take care of your digestive system

by Helen Foster –

Ever wondered if you have IBS or a gluten allergy? Confused about probiotics and fermented foods? Here five experts give the ultimate guide to a healthy, happier gut.

Take a minute before you eat any meal

Eating when stressed is a common cause of bloating, which many of our clients think is normal because it happens day in, day out. But it’s not, and you can reduce it if you calm your system before eating. Taking a few deep breaths replaces the arousal-based nervous system associated with stress with the calming parasympathetic nervous system. When this is activated, digestion can work properly again.

Gargle for two minutes a day

Digestion starts in the brain when the vagus nerve, running between the brain and the gut, sends signals triggering the production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. Many people with poor digestion have a weak vagal signalling process. There are a few ways to strengthen it: you can sing or gargle for two minutes each day, or use a tongue depressor to stimulate your gag reflex two or three times.

You don’t have to be coeliac to react to gluten

We now know that many people have a measurable reaction to gluten that doesn’t cause the damage to the microvilli that would class them as coeliac. It’s called non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, and it affects far more people than coeliac disease does. Listen to your body; if it tells you gluten doesn’t agree with you, it probably doesn’t.

Leave time to allow for your gut to repair and replenish - but do not fast
Leave time to allow for your gut to repair and replenish – but do not fast CREDIT:ANDREYPOPOV/GETTY

Leave 12 hours between dinner and breakfast

The gut lining consists of a single layer of cells that replenish every 72 hours, but this repair cannot take place effectively if your gut is working hard on digestion at the same time. Leaving 12 hours between meals gives a clear period for the gut to focus on repair and replenishment. But do not fast for the sake of your gut – it sends the body into shock and overburdens the liver.

Excess acid may not be the cause of your problems

Many people who suffer from indigestion, acid reflux or heartburn think it is because they produce too much acid, but it is just as likely that they don’t produce enough. This triggers a pressure change in the stomach which allows the sphincter at the top to open, letting the contents pass back out. Eating a little protein at each meal and chewing well both raise acid production. Also try a tablespoon of raw cider vinegar (it must be the type that contains the mother sediment) in a glass of water immediately before you eat.

 “Most people have one issue that leads to 70 per cent of their gut symptoms – your focus should be finding and eliminating that one trigger before you try anything else”

Sam Bearfoot, aka The Digestion Detective, is a kinesiologist. 

Hydrate

The most effective way to improve gut health is to drink more water. The gut is a long slippery tube, and for good gut function you need to keep that slipperiness, which will happen if you are hydrated. But do not hydrate with sugary drinks – they simply feed less healthy gut bacteria in the bowel. I’m also wary of smoothies because of the raw food they contain. Raw food takes one and half times more energy to break down than cooked. In a healthy gut that’s fine, but if your digestion is taxed it can trigger problems.

Love your gut

If you are constantly uncomfortable, you can quickly come to resent your gut. One of the first things I ask clients to do is turn that around. Think of those symptoms as telling you something is not right and giving you a chance to fix it. Once you adopt that mindset, trying to find the solution to a problem seems more manageable.

Change one thing at a time

Clients often tell me they feel better after giving up everything at once – gluten, dairy and sugar, for example – and so feel that they must do so for the rest of their lives. But most people have one issue that leads to 70 per cent of their gut symptoms – your focus should be finding and eliminating that one trigger before you try anything else.

People try to add more fruit to their diet
People try to add more fruit to their diet CREDIT: GETTY

It is not always IBS

About a third of sufferers, particularly those who have loose bowels as their main symptom, have a problem called Sibo (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). In this, gut bacteria that normally live in the large intestine populate the small intestine instead, triggering such problems as loose bowels, bloating and abdominal cramps. Normally it is treated with an antibiotic that wipes out the bacteria overgrowth, but it also kills the healthy bugs in your system. US researchers claim to have come up with a herb-based antibiotic that attacks only the unwanted bacteria in the bowel. See more at siboinfo.com.

Raise your knees on the lavatory

We are not designed to defecate sitting down. We are supposed to squat, which straightens the colon and reduces pressure. Modern lavatories don’t make this position possible, so place your feet on toilet rolls – I use the bathroom bin – to raise your knees higher than your hips, which changes the colon angle. There’s also a device called Squatty Potty that puts you in the right position.

“Eating regularly is as important as what is in your meals – eating triggers the bowel to move, so if you skip meals you are more likely to develop constipation”

Dr Anton Emmanuel is a consultant gastroenterologist at University College Hospital and medical director of the charity Core

You don’t need to poo daily

The idea that you need a daily bowel movement is simply not true for 75 per cent of us. Normal bowel activity is classed as anything more than three times a week and fewer than three times a day. And nor does it have to be a “perfectly formed” stool – normality is anything from putty to Maltesers. So long as you pass it easily it is OK.

More fibre is not always the solution

The first thing a constipation sufferer tries is to increase fibre intake. But there is a type called slow transit constipation for which this is the worst solution – it will lead to more bloating, wind and pain. If you try raising your fibre intake and things get worse, then stop. First try eating only fruit-based fibre, which is easier to digest than harder fibres such as bran. If that still doesn’t work, seek advice. Eating regularly is as important as what is in your meals – eating triggers the bowel to move, so if you skip meals you are more likely to develop constipation simply because it’s not getting that stimulus.

Don’t be afraid of laxatives

Many people who have constipation think laxatives will make the bowel lazy, but that isn’t the case. If you have had your bowel checked to ensure there is no underlying condition that needs treatment, using laxatives when you need them is not harmful. Colonic irrigation, though, is not helpful. In the hands of a trained practitioner you are safe from bowel damage, but gut bacteria are important to bowel health, and washing out the colon depopulates the bacteria levels.

Take your PPIs on an empty stomach

Proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole, which are used to tackle conditions such as acid reflux or heartburn, are among the most commonly prescribed medications in Britain. The trouble is that many people use them incorrectly. Failing to take them on an empty stomach reduces their efficacy by some 40 per cent.

Keep a food diary

But be warned: often people are so sure certain foods are behind their symptoms that when they study their diary they merely look for proof of their beliefs. This may result in cutting out foods they don’t need to, which in extreme cases can lead to malnourishment. Look at any food diary with an open mind, or ask a dietitian or digestive health specialist to do so for you.

 “I suggest people with poor gut health drink a daily cup of bone broth”

Christine Bailey is a nutritionist based in Berkshire who runs workshops on how to cook for a healthy gut

Eat more liver

It is one of the single best sources of vitamins A and D, which protect the mucus membrane of the gut. If you really cannot bear the idea of eating liver as it comes, sneak it into things like burgers – you still get the nutrients. I also suggest people with poor gut health drink a daily cup of bone broth. It is packed with minerals and collagen that help restore the integrity of the gut lining.

Consume fermented foods

Traditionally these were always part of our diet: we would eat raw milk or cheeses made from it that would re-inoculate our body with good bacteria that the gut needs to thrive. Now, though, we rarely re-establish this via our diets. I recommend adding such foods as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, tempeh or fermented pickles to your daily meal plans.

Porridge is a good breakfast, but studies suggest you should not add sugar
Porridge is a good breakfast, but studies suggest you should not add sugarCREDIT: GETTY

Avoid sugar

It has a profoundly adverse effect on the gut. Sugar feeds harmful bacteria which then cause bloating and all manner of damage to the gut lining. And it is not only the sugar found in sweets and chocolate – be wary of concentrated doses in energy drinks, fruit juices and many low-fat foods.

Take a probiotic

Not all bacteria is equal, though – you need to ensure you are taking a species, strain and subtype that has shown good results. I recommend products that contain Lactobacillus GG, which has been shown to have clear effects at fighting inflammation and can therefore help problems such as Crohn’s disease, colitis or IBS. Saccharomyces boulardii is a probiotic yeast particularly good at fighting problems such as traveller’s diarrhoea or upset stomachs caused by antibiotics. Products containing many billions of bacteria are also not necessarily better. If you take a super-strength probiotic you are flooding your gut with new inhabitants. This can shock the system and lead to bloating.

Symptoms are not always food-related

I have seen people who have been fighting poor gut health with various diets for years. To me, this means the root cause of the problem has not been identified. People often fail to consider that they might be carrying a parasite, and 70-80 per cent of the people I test with unresolved gut symptoms have one. If you have poor digestion but do not know why, undertake a stool test to check for anything unwanted.

“Having a few teaspoons of cabbage juice before eating – or better yet, fermented cabbage juice from sauerkraut – will do wonders to improve your digestion”

Dr Joseph Mercola is the author of ‘Effortless Healing’ and creator ofMercola, one of the most-read health sites on the web

Chew your food

Digestion is a demanding task requiring a great deal of energy, especially if it is forced to deal with improperly chewed food. Take small bites, chew until the mouthful is liquefied or has lost all its flavour, then swallow completely before you take another bite.

Avoid processed food

Protecting gut bacteria is key to good digestive health and good health overall, yet there are chemicals, additives, genetically engineered ingredients and sugars in processed foods that can have a negative impact on gut bacteria and the gut lining in general. It is OK to have the occasional processed item, but if the majority of your diet is made up of them you are putting your gut health at serious risk.

Limit medications

Antibiotics wipe out gut bacteria. And many prescription medications, including blood pressure drugs, pain relievers and anxiety treatments, can interfere with the digestive process, causing heartburn or acid reflux. Do not make the mistake of adding yet another drug to counteract this. Ask your doctor if there is a way to prevent any drug you are taking from triggering gut problems.

Protect your gut lining

“Leaky gut” is a common condition in people with poor digestive health, yet many have no idea it exists. In the condition, physical holes appear in the intestinal lining, allowing proteins to slip into the bloodstream which are then viewed as antigens by the immune system. One of the most powerful treatments is the Gaps (gut and psychology syndrome) diet. It’s very restrictive, avoiding all grain, starchy vegetables and most sugars, focusing instead on healing foods such as bone broths, and I have seen some phenomenal results.

Add a little salt

Low levels of stomach acid are behind many of the gut problems we see. High-quality unprocessed sea salt, such as Himalayan salt, will not only provide you with the chloride your body needs to make hydrochloric acid, it also contains more than 80 trace minerals necessary for optimum biochemical performance. Sauerkraut or cabbage juice is also a strong – if not the strongest – stimulant for your body to produce stomach acid. Having a few teaspoons of cabbage juice before eating – or better yet, fermented cabbage juice from sauerkraut – will do wonders to improve your digestion.

 

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